Tension in Cuyahoga Heights over school labor fight - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Tension in Cuyahoga Heights over school labor fight

Students showing support for their teachers. (Source: Michael Tartara) Students showing support for their teachers. (Source: Michael Tartara)
CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) -

It's Homecoming night at Cuyahoga Heights High School, and the stands are filled for the game against Hawken. But the action on the field isn't the only story.

Parents and students are upset that cheerleaders were not allowed to hold up a sign at last week's football game supporting their teachers who are considering a strike.

"Well, George it was ridiculous. They're kids. They need the right to freedom of expression. First Amendment right. Freedom of speech," said parent Mark McDaniel.

"That's a violation of their freedom of speech and they should be able to hold the sign to represent their political views," said Phil Kiriazis, another parent.

The school's superintendent says he was opposed to the sign being displayed on the field.

"I don't have a problem if they are in the stands, on the street, walking around up on top. But we certainly support Mr. Evans' decision not to let them hold that banner to support the teacher's union," Superintendent Joe Bergant said.

Some parents have contacted a prominent civil rights attorney over the free speech issue.

"If I go out and I want to hold a sign up supporting the district or supporting the teachers, I have a Constitutional right to do so. The school district better take a close look at what they're doing to their students," said Avery Friedman.

As for the potential strike, a federal mediator is bringing the Board of Education and the Teacher's Association together for a meeting scheduled on Monday, October 6.

 


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